In the News in San Francisco: 2006

"An informed citizenry is the only true repository of the public will."

                                                                                                                          - Thomas Jefferson


Preserving the Snowy Plover of San Francisco
Snowy Plover in San Francisco
See full story from SF Chronicle, 7 November 2006


Historic St. Bridgid's Needs Your Help
St. Brigid's Church
Above: St. Brigid’s Church (at left), Van Ness Ave, 1936          Below: Harry Clark's stained glass


HISTORY: The outside walls of St. Brigid are beautiful and historic. They’re made of recycled San Francisco granite curbstones collected by St. Brigid’s thrifty first pastor. But it is the inside which contains a century’s worth of statuary, stained glass and artwork. The inside of St. Brigid is where San Franciscans took refuge after the 1906 earthquake.

TODAY: Developers with support from supervisor Alioto-Pier are looking to demolish the building in part or whole for economic gain with little regard for St. Brigid's historic significance and beauty.

See full story at:


Write your supervisor and/or Mayor Newsom and tell them how you feel.

Click HERE for their contact info.


San Francisco's Recreational Park Lands
Presidio Manzanita


The NAP (Natural Areas Program) was originated out of concerns about protecting remnants of plants and wildlife that were native to the San Francisco peninsula and whose numbers were dwindling.

The NAP Management Plan is over 700 pages long and can be referenced at:

Jake Sigg of the California Native Plant Society has offered useful information about the Natural Areas Program. Read by clicking HERE.

From Augsut 2006


The city is on the verge of passing a plan to provide comprehensive care to estimated 82,000 people.

In a bold experiment, San Francisco moved a step closer this week to accomplishing what no municipality has done before: offering comprehensive healthcare services to all uninsured residents. Illegal immigrants living in the city would also be eligible.

With the number of uninsured Americans estimated at 46 million, healthcare experts described the proposal as an innovative local attempt to address a growing national crisis.

"It is possible to achieve universal healthcare. If it doesn't start nationally, it'll have to start city by city," said Grumbach, who served on a mayoral committee that proposed details of the plan.

The proposal would offer anyone seeking care within the city the option of enrolling in the program. Patients would get a card and pay a monthly fee on a sliding scale, based on income.

Among the more controversial elements of the plan is a requirement that businesses employing 20 or more people either pay into the plan or contribute to the cost of their employees' healthcare through other means, such as private insurance or health savings accounts.

"Our goal is to provide an actual system whereby people have everything from primary care to pharmaceuticals, including access to specialty care, if needed, for all uninsured San Franciscans," said Jennifer Petrucione, spokeswoman for Mayor Gavin Newsom, who worked on the measure with Supervisor Tom Ammiano.

If it receives final approval next week, it is expected to be signed by the mayor. The first phase of the Health Access Program would begin operation July 1, 2007.

San Francisco to Offer Healthcare to Uninsured Residents


See full story from L.A. Times, 20 July 2006



Coyotes in San Francisco
Coyote in the Presidio

From the Presidio to the bison paddock and botanical gardens of Golden Gate Park, there have been a handful of coyote sightings. Rose Denis with the San Francisco Recreation has said that "Somebody that works at the conservatory of flowers has reported sightings. Some of the gardeners have reported sightings." Vicky Guldbech with San Francisco Animal Care and Control insists the coyotes are not a public nuisance.

In fact these natural predators may help with the feral cat problems in both Golden Gate Park and the Presidio. Feral cats are not native to California, but coyotes certainly are. Feral cats have decimated some bird populations. Our state and city bird, the California Quail, once thrived in both Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, but their numbers have dwindled since feral cats were introduced to these areas. These wiley coyotes may help restore the balance.


story adapted from: KCBS, 9 June 2006

see info on local coyotes from: National Park Service, Presidio



Peregrine Falcon
Peregrines Still Flying High in Downtown San Francisco

Above - Peregrine Pair at their former location on PG&E building (they have since moved across street to the Equity Office building to raise their family). The endangered falcon pair have begun nesting on the 30th floor of the Equity Office's at 201 Mission in San Francisco. They moved there after successfully nesting on the nearby PG&E building.

The falcons start courting around Valentine's Day. Their eggs incubate for 32 days. The chicks stay in the nest for 42 days and then try to fly. Within a few weeks, the fledglings relocate for good.

The raptors can dive for prey at speeds of 200 mph.

This pair has been named George and Gracie by the man that first discovered them nesting here in the city, Neil Morse.

PG&E has footed the bill for the NESTCAM.

Adapted from:   NBC11  &  SF Chronicle


Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama Advocates for the Preservation of Peace


His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama broke his regular schedule, normally planned seven years in advance, and accepted an invitation from the global Muslim community to discuss the most momentous issue of our time -- how to mitigate religious intolerance and promote understanding and compassion among Muslims and peoples of all faiths.

The summit convened today in San Francisco marked the first time the global Muslim community has engaged the Dalai Lama in the effort to address religious extremism.

The Dalai Lama was joined by approximately 100 world-renowned scholars, teachers, and leaders of Christian, Hindu, Jewish and other faiths who met with their Muslim and Buddhist counterparts and took part in the landmark discussion. In addition to Syyid Sayeed, the religious and spiritual leaders' summit included Robert Thurman, Ph.D., professor and first western Tibetan monk; Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding; Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, founder of Zaytuna Institute; Huston Smith, distinguished professor of philosophy and religion and author of several books, including, Forgotten Truth: The Common Vision of the World's Religions, among others.

The summit participants joined the Dalai Lama in changing previous commitments in order to participate in the historic discussions, even though it occurred during one of the most religiously-significant weekends of the year -- The Prophet's birthday, Easter, Passover. The group assembled in order to celebrate unity and denounce religious intolerance. The Organising Committee said in a statement:

"Religious intolerance, and the violence that tragically attends it, have masqueraded as a legitimate expression of religious conviction and have grabbed the world stage from the majority voices of reason. Those attending this gathering want to rectify this imbalance as they are acutely aware that political and economic agendas, however disguised, have no place in religious practice; and they are committed to acting in their communities to promote compassion and counter divisiveness."


Adapted from: Business Wire, 15 April 06


San Francisco Judge Rules in Favor of Red-legged Frog
Red-legged Frog

The Center for Biological Diversity wants a federal judge to order pesticide-free zones around the habitat of California's celebrated but dwindling population of red-legged frogs.

This conservation group has sought buffer zones, consumer warnings and a timetable for government compliance in papers filed Monday with U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White of San Francisco. White ruled in September that the Environmental Protection Agency had violated its legal duty to determine whether 66 pesticides were harming the frog or its habitat.

Besides the buffer zones -- 200 feet around streams and ponds inhabited by the frog, and an additional 300 feet for aerial spraying -- the conservationists asked White to require notices at stores and labels on products warning consumers that the pesticides may harm amphibians.

They also asked the judge to give the EPA three years to consult with biologists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and make sure the pesticides are not jeopardizing the frog.

The red-legged frog has disappeared from nearly three-quarters of its natural range and has declined to 10 percent of its original population. The main culprit is farm development, which has destroyed the frog's habitat. The federal government listed it as a threatened species in 1996.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed suit in 2002, accusing the EPA of ignoring studies linking pesticides with the decline of amphibians.

White, an appointee of President Bush, said in his September ruling that the conservation group had submitted studies showing that 47 of the 66 pesticides named in its lawsuit could harm the frog. It also produced an expert's report suggesting the other 19 chemicals might be contributing to the species' decline.

The judge told the EPA to assess the effects of the pesticides.

Adapted from: SF Chronicle, 25 January 06


Let the Mayor &/or the San Francisco Supervisors know how you feel about these issues.

CLICK HERE  for their contact information.